Dr. Andrea Achilli is an Assistant Professor in the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Arizona (UA) and affiliated faculty at the UA Water and Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center. He received a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno where he developed the osmotic membrane bioreactor and investigated pressure retarded osmosis. He has almost 15 years of research experience in membrane processes for desalination and water reuse, including membrane distillation and energy recovery. His research focuses on process integration, modeling, and optimization for water and wastewater treatments. Dr. Achilli is the PI or Co-PI of several funded research projects for membrane contactor processes and hybrid systems for desalination and water reuse. Current funding sources include the Bureau of Reclamation, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Department of Energy RAPID program, and the Department of Defense ESTCP program.
Invited Talk (Liquid Separation)
Engineered osmosis and membrane distillation for a sustainable future
The University of Arizona, US and the UA Water and Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center, US
Engineered osmosis such as forward osmosis (FO and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) and membrane distillation (MD) received great interest during the past decade as an alternative for water separation problems ranging from desalination to wastewater treatment and reuse. The main attractive of these processes is the promise of having lower primary energy consumption than conventional – pressure-driven – membrane processes. This is due to their driving force: concentration gradient in the case of FO and PRO and heat in the case of MD and. Both concentration gradients and heat could – and should – be sourced by waste streams, potentially making the driving force of these processes effectively “free”. But we all know there is no such thing as free lunch. This presentation will introduce the basics of these processes and discuss their challenges and opportunities in sustainable water separation applications.